House Policies

We are so glad you are here. We don't like the word "etiquette" but we do know that everyone has a better overall experience when we all agree to some basic ground rules.

Late Seating

We sympathize with latecomers, but for the sake of the performers and other patrons, we won't be able to seat you while a work is in progress during the Repertory Season. Latecomers will be asked to stand until the break, which might be during intermission. For Nutcracker performances, latecomers will be seated at the discretion of management.

Photo & Video Recording

It's tempting to take a picture to share with a friend or record a video to post on social media, but photographs and recordings of the performance are strictly forbidden.

Be a Good Neighbor

We know the performance can be exciting, but please refrain from talking or whispering during the performance. Also, please sit in your ticketed seat; seats that may appear to be empty may belong to someone arriving just in time to take their seat as the lights dim. And, out of consideration for audience members with sensitivities to fragrance, please don’t use scents and fragrances.

Please help keep an unobstructed view for those seated behind you by not leaning forward and not resting your head on your seatmate’s head or shoulder.

Eating in the Opera House

No outside food is allowed. You are welcome to eat food purchased in the Opera House in the lobby and restaurant. Food, including candy, is not allowed in the auditorium. If you think you'll need a cough drop, please unwrap a few before the performance starts.

Drinking in the Auditorium

We’re continuing to participate in this pilot program during our 2019 Repertory Season. You may bring drinks purchased in the venue into the auditorium, as long as they are in the approved compostable cup with lid, which will be available at all bars in both the War Memorial Opera House and Davies Symphony Hall.

Drinks are not allowed in the auditorium during Nutcracker performances.

Electronic Devices

Part of the joy of coming to the ballet is disconnecting from the outside world for a couple of hours. So, please turn off and stow your mobile devices before the performance as their lights and sounds will be a distraction to the performers and other audience members.

When to Applaud

The dancers and musicians love your feedback, so please applaud when the dancers take a bow, or at the end of the ballet. During bows, if you're so moved, you are also welcome to let out a robust "bravo!" for a male dancer, "brava!" for a female dancer, and "bravi!" for a group of dancers. You can also whistle, shout or simply applaud—it's entirely up to you.

Taking Kids to the Ballet

Nutcracker is most magical for children ages 5 and up. Please note: No children under 3, including babes in arms.

Repertory Season performances are usually best enjoyed by children 8 and up. Please note: No children under 5, including babes in arms. These performances, including story ballets, are often more than two-and-a-half hours long, and are not always ideal for younger children.

Everyone entering the Opera House, regardless of age, must have a ticket, and children must occupy their own seat next to an accompanying adult. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

If you're thinking of bringing young children we've put together this handy guide to make the experience smooth and enjoyable for everyone.

Handy Guide